Letter: biz kid hates hikes

Editor, the Gauntlet,

I’m a business student, and I finish this year. But what’s really got me enraged about the administration is the fact that the University of Calgary has the gall to even consider increasing tuition by a whopping 46.5 per cent – in one year!! That’s disgusting, exorbitant and atrocious. Thinking of the poor students that are being forced to finance the U of C’s fiscal problems fills me with loathing for our administration. They should be ashamed of themselves.

I don’t think I’m being melodramatic in saying that I’ve lost a little bit of faith in humanity because of this issue, especially in the older generation. However, the overwhelming student response fills me with hope. As a fifth year, I’ve seen — and largely ignored — the rallying call from the Students’ Union over a number of issues because they simply weren’t worth the effort. This one is. Alexandra Sellers’ Facebook event has over 1,000 attendees and grows exponentially every day. Students are rightfully outraged over this.

I finish this year, so, luckily, it’s an issue that I will not have to deal with directly. My fees are paid and I am escaping with a manageable amount of debt. The people I feel the worst for are the up-and-coming first- and second-years that have committed themselves to this institution; now faced with three long years of exorbitant prices you can expect that they are not happy campers right now. And who’s to say that fees won’t go up again next year? The whole thing is so incredibly arbitrary.

It’s like an episode of the TV show How I Met Your Mother, when Marshall is eventually confronted with the choice between a soulless corporation with NPH [sic] or a financially stable home because of the debt accrued by Lilly’s shopping sprees and law school. By raising tuition prices, we’re forcing students into job streams that will pay off their debt as quickly as possible. What about the graduates who want to spend time with important organizations such as Engineers or Doctors without Borders? What about the business students that take a pay cut to organize and run not-for-profits?

People say that business students are greedy and just in it for the money. In my experience this isn’t true at all — there are some phenomenal people in the business faculty (some of the best people I’ve had the pleasure of knowing, actually) that really do want to make a difference. But just like Marshall in How I Met Your Mother, the bottom line when choosing a career will come down to their financial feasibility. Three-four years from now, the graduates from the hit faculties will be jaded, cynical and debt-laden. And who can blame them? They’re being taken advantage of — not only are they required to finance their own education, but the board’s mistakes as well! With these tuition changes, the university is effectively destroying the hope for a better future, a brighter Calgary, and a stronger Canada and I hope that they will reconsider.

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